beginner motorcycles

Are Smaller Motorcycles Easier to Ride?

Are Smaller Motorcycles Easier to Ride?

Imagine you are riding at a high speed on a curvy road while being in full control of your motorbike. It sounds perfect, right? But for most new riders, fulfilling this dream to ride like a pro involves many fears, shaky starts, and nervous breakdowns. For new riders, the fun of riding is often overshadowed by the anxiety of learning how to balance and steer the motorcycle and prevent it from falling over when riding. The idea of riding alongside bulky cruisers and aerodynamically designed sleek sports bikes makes it intimidating for beginners to ride and steer the bike confidently.

This is when you realize that starting with a smaller, more affordable motorcycle makes sense. More commonly known as ‘beginner bikes’, these machines offer several advantages and a more compelling package for riders of different skill levels. Continue reading this article to learn why smaller motorcycles are easier to ride and what advantages they offer.

1. A Lightweight Advantage

Think about pushing or lifting a heavyweight sumo wrestler in a wrestling match. This is what it feels like to ride a bigger bike, especially for a novice rider. Handling a large-sized motorcycle becomes more intimidating, particularly at slow speeds.

On the contrary, smaller bikes take less effort to maneuver and are relatively lighter, making them perfect for beginners. This is particularly important when maneuvering in confined areas like parking spaces.

It is also easier to lift a smaller motorcycle in case it has fallen due to losing control and balance during training sessions or initial days of riding. Most bigger and heavyweight motorcycles like the adventure touring bikes that are more likely to fall while maneuvering on challenging terrains are very difficult to pick up particularly if you are on your own.

2. Low on Power; Good for Beginners

The engine is the primary element of a motorcycle, just like the heart is for human beings. Bigger bikes are often fitted with high-powered engines capable of producing enormous power and torque values. Even though this is a thrilling experience for experienced riders, it can be overwhelming for new riders.

Smaller motorcycles for instance have less horsepower and are less harmful as compared to heavy motorcycles. This helps you concentrate on the effective use of throttle control and braking. Being low-powered makes them ideal beginner bikes and highly suitable for a large number of riders who are in the process of becoming better at riding.

Not to forget, beginner bikes are always in demand as more people are attracted to motorcycling. Beginner or smaller motorcycles are also the best training bikes and are widely used for this purpose thanks to their low-powered nature.

3. Confidence is Key

No matter what you do in life, confidence is always the key to success. While riding a motorcycle, the rider must have the feeling of control as this will ensure a good and safe ride. A smaller bike is also easier to maneuver and it is lighter and these two factors are very crucial in improving confidence. Gradually, you get comfortable with the speed and control and you learn how to balance and stop when necessary.

As your riding confidence grows, the bond between you and your motorcycle becomes stronger. As you face more challenges and improve your skills, you become a fluent rider. There comes a point when you can move on to your next bike that offers more power.

4. A Margin for Error

Well, everyone knows that no one is perfect and when you are learning something new, you are bound to make some mistakes. A smaller motorcycle is usually easier to handle because it is less likely to be harsh to the rider if they make a mistake. Due to the low weight, a smaller motorcycle reacts carefully to slight errors made when using the throttle or brakes. This doesn’t mean that you can forget all the basic rules and ride however you want, but it does give a certain level of comfort and peace of mind when practicing. However, you must ensure not to commit even small beginner mistakes while riding as they can prove to be fatal as well.

5. Finding the Right Fit

It is important to note that the use of smaller motorcycles is not a universally effective solution for every beginner. When you are planning to ride on open roads and highways and go long distances, a smaller or lightweight motorcycle can cause a lot of trouble and frustration. They start to shake badly and lose control especially when you are passing through gusts of wind or trying to overtake slow-moving vehicles. Also, some of the small bikes may have a lower seat height, and this may be uncomfortable for the tall riders.

6. Pros and Cons of Smaller Motorcycles

Small motorcycles are quite attractive to novice riders and those having a low budget. But are smaller motorcycles the best for you? Below are the pros and cons of smaller motorcycles to make it easier for you to decide whether it is a better choice for you or not:

6.1 Pros

Easier to Ride and Handle

  • Lightweight
  • Fewer control options
  • Perfect for beginners
  • Easy to balance
  • Helps improve confidence
  • Perfect training bike
  • Good for practicing and learning

Nimble and Agile

  • Easy to maneuver
  • Smaller in size
  • Ensure quick movements
  • Better for avoiding obstacles on roads
  • Better for overtaking vehicles
  • Easy to move in parking spots


  • Cheaper to buy
  • Easier to maintain
  • Cheap repairs
  • Low labor cost

Fuel Efficient

  • Highly economical in terms of fuel economy
  • Produce less toxins and hazardous gases
  • Better for the environment

Lower Insurance Costs

  • Low engine displacement size means low insurance costs

6.2 Cons

Limited Power and Speed

  • Limited power-producing capability
  • Low horsepower and torque values
  • Low acceleration
  • Low top speed
  • Can’t carry the load
  • Less likely to ride with a passenger

Less Comfortable for Long Rides

  • Smaller in size
  • Compact ergonomics
  • Compact rider triangle
  • Usually comes with less-padded seat

Limited Cargo Capacity

  • No room for luggage space
  • Limited mounting position for luggage bags
  • Not suitable for long-distance rides and touring

Less Stable at High Speeds

  • Not suitable for highway riding
  • Starts to shake badly at highway speeds
  • Not safe while riding in windy conditions

Safety Concerns

  • Visibility issues due to being small
  • Lack of overtaking capability
  • Lack of stability at high speeds

7. Exploring the Best Smaller Motorcycle Options

7.1 Honda Rebel 300: Easy Cruising for Beginners

Honda Rebel 300: Easy Cruising for Beginners
Photo Credit: Honda Powersports

The Honda Rebel 300 is one of the most stylish options in the smaller motorcycle category. Though it lies in the cruiser segment it has a unique sporty vibe. It is quite low to the ground, making it easy for riders to place their feet flat on the ground when parked or stopped at the traffic signal.

The Honda Rebel 300 offers a unique sitting posture. The ergonomics do not exactly match that of a traditional cruiser. The foot controls are somewhere in the mid position but the legroom is Stoll comfortable enough to suit most riders.

The Rebel 300 has a manageable engine that can help you travel comfortably within the city. Regardless of its stylish and wider look, this bike will not intimidate you. On top of that, it is lightweight and easily manageable for new riders.

7.2 Yamaha MT-03: Nimble and Fun for City Rides

Yamaha MT-03: Nimble and Fun for City Rides
Photo Credit: Motorcyclist Online

The Yamaha MT-03 is a naked bike with a stripped-down bodywork, ensuring an upright riding posture. Such a riding pose offers good visibility and maneuverability, which are perfect when riding through city roads and urban areas. This bike has some features in common with sports bikes and the rider can also switch to an aggressive riding stance. Like the Rebel 300, the MT-03 is also relatively light and maneuverable. It is also suitable for city riding and having some fun accelerating without being overly powerful.

7.3 Honda Grom: Confidence-Building Fun on Two Wheels

Honda Grom: Confidence-Building Fun on Two Wheels
Photo Credit: Cycle World

The Honda Grom is a super-small motorcycle, also categorized as a minimoto. It makes a perfect choice for novice riders. Its weight and structure are very friendly to new riders because the bike is very light and the seat height is low, thus making it easy to learn the basic riding techniques. A small engine and small size are the main features of the Honda Grom.

7.4 BMW G310GS: Adventure Bike for Beginners

BMW G310GS: Adventure Bike for Beginners
Photo Credit: Visor Down

The BMW G310GS is a low-powered adventure bike that is highly suitable for newcomers. It offers a comfortable riding posture for upright riding along with adequate height for passing through the minor off-road terrains in addition to the regular city traffic. This versatility makes the G310GS highly suitable for new riders who wish to have a taste of adventure.

7.5 Honda CRF300L: The Most Beginner-Friendly Adventure Bike

Honda CRF300L: The Most Beginner-Friendly Adventure Bike
Photo Credit: Cycle World

The Honda CRF300L is another ideal lightweight dual-sports bike for beginners. It provides a comfortable ride position, a relatively high seat height, and better ground clearance for off-roading. It’s ideal for riding on dirt trails and can also be maneuvered in city streets with ease.

7.6 Royal Enfield Classic 350: Timeless Style with Classic Character

Royal Enfield Classic 350: Timeless Style with Classic Character
Photo Credit: Royal Enfield

The Royal Enfield Classic 350 has a superb classic design and look and is also ergonomically comfortable for the rider. The bike comes equipped with a single-cylinder power plant that brings back a highly conventional feel and vibe. If you are inclined towards the old-world charm and the thumping sound of a single-cylinder engine, then the Royal Enfield Classic 350 can be your ideal riding partner.

7.7 Overall

The above-mentioned low-powered smaller motorcycles offer unique benefits to new riders. Make sure to consider your needs and preferences before opting for any one of these.

  • Light Cruising or City Traveling? Honda Rebel 300 or Yamaha MT-03
  • Super Beginner-Friendly? Honda Grom
  • Light Adventure Riding? BMW G310GS or Honda CRF300L
  • Classic Style? Royal Enfield Classic 350

8. Takeaway

Choosing the right motorcycle to buy is a matter of preference and depends on what the rider requires. However, a small motorcycle is an excellent choice for riders new to motorcycling and who prefer an easy-to-ride bike. With less weight to carry around, less power to manage, and the increased confidence that comes with being able to handle a lightweight bike, a smaller motorcycle is an ideal gateway to start your riding career. So, do not get attracted by the cool-looking and expensive large-displacement motorbikes, a smaller and compact motorcycle may be all that you need to take you on your two-wheeled journey.

Smaller motorcycles are not suitable for long-haul journeys and highway riding but you can still manage to do light touring. With a few aftermarket parts and luggage bag options, you can make your beginner bike look as cool and eye-catching as an expert-level bike. At Viking Bags’ online store, you can find a wide variety of luggage options, including saddlebags , backpacks , tank bags , tour packs , and much more. In the aftermarket parts category, the company makes sissy bars , crash bars , backrests , and fairings .

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